South African batters, led by their gutsy skipper Dean Elgar, dug their heels in to reach within 122 runs of a series-levelling victory against a determined India as the second Test seemed poised for a gripping fourth day finish here on Wednesday.
Elgar (46 batting off 121 balls) took some nasty blows off deliveries that spat off the cracks but kept his team on course at 118 for 2 in pursuit of a tricky 240-run target set by India in the wake of a solid century-plus partnership from the under-fire duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
Shardul Thakur (1/21), who is in the middle of a great Test match, got his eighth victim of the game in an over during which the ball seamed, bounced and kept low from the same spot with the last one finding opener Aiden Markram's (31) pads.
Keegan Petersen (28) added 46 with his skipper before Ravichandran Ashwin (1/14) got one to drift and turn getting a leg before decision going his way. However, like every new innings in this game where heavy roller has made batting easier by ironing out the divots on the good length spots, Elgar was ready to play the ugly game putting his body on the line, getting hit on knuckles, chest, shoulder and even on head prompting a quick on-field concussion test.